Saturday, February 10, 2007
Victoria, Texas, to Weslaco, Texas

In the morning I enjoyed some breakfast burritos at the Quality Inn's hot breakfast buffet, then we headed on our way. It was even cooler today, in the mid-40s, and very dreary. Soon we were at Aransas Pass, where we took a short ferry over to Mustang Island, an 18-mile-long barrier island adjacent to Padre Island. Port Aransas, population 3,500, is the only town on Mustang Island. We're delighted that most of the island is still free from development.

We explored a section of beach on Mustang Island by foot and then drove down the beach for a ways. And you know what? We found lots of pieces of sand dollars! No whole dollars, just a lot of change, but still exciting.

Hunting for sand dollars, Mustang Island, Texas

A bridge at the southern end of the island took us to Corpus Christi, then we caught Highway 77 south for the most desolate drive east of Arizona, through the 825,000-acre King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the world, sprawling across six Texas counties. Tom nodded off with nothing to look at, but I loved the lonely landscape.

Shortly after 5:00 we arrived at the Super 8 in Weslaco, Texas, where we'll be staying for the next five nights. Here we're meeting up with a bunch of folks to build two homes for two families across the border in Nuevo Progresso, Mexico. Weslaco is 1,300 miles from Knoxville, but we drove 1,760 miles to get here.

Jana's (my) dad and his wife, Ed and Joan Neighbors, arrived in Weslaco on Thursday from Enid, Oklahoma, and had been purchasing lumber and supplies and delivering them to the home sites for the last few days. They'd also been here in December, when they arranged for the foundations to be poured.

Tom's parents, Jack and Linda Goetz, arrived yesterday from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Also staying at our hotel and part of our crew are Bob and Nellyne Hanlin, from Oklahoma City.

My brother, Brian Neighbors, and our good friend Jennifer Mooney, both coming from Edmond, Oklahoma, got to the Super 8 just after Tom and I arrived, but the rest of us had already left for dinner. Mooney got ahold of me on my cell phone, and they quickly caught up.

At the restaurant we met three more people with our group, D.J. and Vernell Snider, from New Mexico, formerly of Weatherford, Oklahoma, and their friend Lynn Buenning from Topeka, Kansas.

Dinner was at Jose's Cafecito, 260 South Texas Boulevard. The food was good, and there was a decent musical group playing. I liked the music, but it was too loud to talk to anyone. That's okay. We'll be seeing these folks all week.

Back at the hotel, we visited for a bit with Ed and Joan. Then Brian and Mooney came up to our room, where we watched the worst movie ever made, the name of which is not fit for print.

Brian, Tom & Mooney, Weslaco, Texas

Continue to Day 7

Mardi Gras & Mexico Journal Main Page

Tom Goetz's Homepage

Sign our guestbook

View our guestbook